Wednesday, March 3, 2010

D/s Does Not Mean We Are Not Equals

A friend of mine wrote the following:

You may be of a dominant nature, and I of a submissive nature, but as beings we will always be equal. D/s is a balance between the two, a give and take with agreement respect and trust...and trust takes time to cultivate between two.

And of course, it got me thinking about equality, D/s and the balance that I've sought for (and try to maintain) throughout my own life.

I've started exploring my topside, with Daddy's consent, guidance, and experience to help me. At times, it's comical. But I have a few friends that are willing to be my practice bottoms (read guinea pigs) and their help has been invaluable to me. I've also got a couple of really wonderful tops that are willing to let me bounce things off them (figuratively, of course).

I'm trying to explore something very outside of my comfort zone in order to better understand myself. It's interesting how I can't seem to wrap my head around having someone strive to please me. It's given me a new outlook on how how hard it must be for a dominant. I have figured out that I'm definitely not a dominant when it comes to bdsm. I can dominate someone for short period of time, but after a while it becomes tedious. I don't really receive any kind of "spark" from topping, and it certainly doesn't make MY dick hard, but I am getting better at understanding that I do get a real enjoyment out of watching someone's face and feeling their emotions. I get off on the happiness factor. Still doesn't make my dick hard, but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling so I guess it's still a win.

But as I got to starting a Fetlife profile for my topside persona, I thought about what I was looking for in a bottom. As a woman, who wants to top, I can afford to be VERY choosy. I had barely populated a basic profile when I started getting messages from submissives. I had several during the first day alone. And that was without a picture of myself or anything in the way of a biography.

After I got done giggling with Daddy over this (and after he got over his pique that HE never receives notes from submissives) I asked him "what do I do now"? "How do I weed out the horny net geeks from those that truly want a domme"? He said to me: "don't let them worship you immediately......ask them to tell you about themselves and describe themselves in terms other than kink".

So that's what I did. I sent each of those men a short note, asked them to please call me by name and not "goddess or mistress". And I asked them a simple question "tell me about yourself without mentioning kink in any way".

And to date, not one of the twenty-seven has responded with anything except a litany of the following:

a) I enjoy xyz as a fetish. I would definitely love to try xyz with you.
b) I want to worship your feet.
c) I would make an excellent slave.
d) I am not looking for anything permanent because I'm married.
e) My limits are xyz.
f) I have no limits.

Well, you get the idea. Not one of these men could understand that I didn't want a book bottom. I want a bottom who has read something other than kink books. I want someone who values their own life, feels that they're important to themselves, has confidence and intelligence. I want a PERSON. I wanted someone equal....someone who didn't need to submit to me, but chose to do it because I'd earned the right through my own actions to be given it. I wanted these submissive men to understand that I wasn't looking for a puppet or a toy, but a person who thought himself at least my equal. I wanted to find someone who had something new for me to discover, some hobby that they wanted to share, some passion that they wanted someone to enjoy with them. I wanted someone that I could learn from....

Which brought me to where I am now. Of course, at the most basic level, Daddy and I are equals. We're both human. In theory, as humans, we're equals. I won't get into the political, socioeconomic, religious or other reasons why in practice it's probably not. But we do start out on exactly the same footing. We both feel, think, act, react, and search for those to keep us company on our journey. I can't imagine myself believing that I was expected to subrogate myself in order to submit to anyone. This is really one time that it is a take it or leave it kind of thing. I can amend behavior, learn protocols, follow rules, but I cannot change my personality. Popeye had this right.

To start off any D/s relationship from a position of weakness doesn't work. For one thing, it's seldom a good idea to take an inherently weak position in anything. To consciously start negotiation from a position anything less than equals, leaves open the opportunity to be taken advantage of or influenced. Strength of character, an inner compass, and intelligence are important traits for a submissive. Submissives are not expected to acquiesce in everything. Negotiation is a give and take and to agree because "that's what a sub does" isn't expected. Yes, choosing the battles is important, and you do learn that over time, but a submissive is not expected to be anything except who he/she is.

But once the power exchange starts happening, does that mean that I'm no longer an equal? Do dominants really want submissives to BE in an unequal role? I'm not talking about the balancing that goes on within a PE relationship, or from that which happens naturally during punishment/play. I'm talking about that which comes from owning someone who feels, acts and expects that they must be somehow lesser. I certainly don't. And I wonder about why those men who contacted me on Fet thought they could get away with NOT having a personality.

I never feel lesser with Daddy. What I really feel is that I can be better, do better, and feel everything I've ever wanted to experience with him. With him, I can believe that what he sees in me is really there. But what he sees in me is not a lesser person. I think what he sees is the person who is an equal, but chooses to submit to him. I can submit to him because I started from a position of equality, learned that I had a real desire to submit to him, and made the choice to do so. I wondered why those men who contacted me couldn't understand that I wanted more than just a litany of kinks.

We've all used that old saw "submissive does not equal doormat" and lately I've heard the phrases "power bottoming" and "dominant submissive" being bandied around. And I am a self-avowed bratty bottom. But in looking at those phrases and thinking about them, I wondered if those words are just used by submissives who are trying to balance the very real feeling of equality that they get from being with their dominants? Are those phrases just ways to explain that submissives expect to retain the equality of a human relationship with their partner, while at the same time giving up the control of that equality to their dominant? I also wondered why those men that contacted me seemed more like a doormat and less like people. If you don't want to BE a doormat, don't ACT like one.

And then I guess the things I've learned are that if you do give up control of your equality, shouldn't you make sure that you do it with someone that still believes that you are an equal? And if you're looking to submit to anyone, shouldn't you really have something more to offer than just kink? And that if and when I do choose to top someone, I expect that person to be able to offer me more than just their back for flogging. I want all the dimensions and colors that I try to give daddy. To have anything else just isn't my personality.

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